Category Archives: gadgets

Gadgets, technology we use including audio, video, Iphone, internet, hotspots.

Where to Get Your Own QR Code or 2D Barcode for Your Website

Are you looking for a QR generator to create a QR code for your website? Or are you wondering what those funny black and white squares are anyway?

What is a QR code?

A QR code is a scannable graphic. The QR code graphic can be scanned and read by applications using the auto focus feature in the mobile device’s camera. Popular smartphones include the IPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Why use a QR code?

Data can be encoded within the QR code including a website URL or contact information.

Where can I get a QR code?

There are many companies that will generate QR codes. Some of the sites restrict the type of data that can be encoded or include an expiration date.

To find a QR code generator, enter “QR code generator” into Google or your favorites search engine. We created our QR code with Kaywa.

“Where Are You Today?” website QR Code:

"Where Are You Today?" travel blog QR code

"Where Are You Today?" travel blog QR code

Here is the code for our “Where Are You Today?” site. Our website URL is embedded in the graphic. Using a scanner application on your smart phone, you can  scan the graphic and our website will open up in a browser window.

How are you using QR codes in your business? Click on “comments” and let us know.

Wireless Security: Best Practices

In today’s world of technology, we are no longer tethered to the Cat5 cable at the end our Internet accessible device. With each new and improved device manufactured, wireless access is now the norm.

So how do you protect yourself, your data and your identity when using a standard that is inherently flawed in its security?

While my list of best practices is not all-inclusive, it’s a start down the road to your wireless security.

  1. Know that security is a process not a destination. Security is an ongoing process. Today you may be able to say you are secure, but tomorrow, the entire landscape could change.Think of your security as you do your vehicle. It must be maintained and monitored.
  2. Educate yourself. Your security is YOUR responsibility as a citizen of the global Internet community. When you do not maintain proper security, you put the entire Internet community at risk!Never place your total trust in one vendor, manufacture, or service provider. You should always know what’s running on your system and network and why!
  3. Internet Security Best Practices

    Internet Security Best Practices

  4. Always maintain your software updates, security patches, and service packs on ALL your software. You may have other software running on your device besides a Microsoft operating system (OS). Make sure you’re maintaining updates on iTunes, Java, Adobe Reader, Flash and other non-OS-specific software. Every software developed has updated from time-to-time and many fix known security issues.Remember, within 24 hours of a patch being released, someone out on the Internet has already started exploiting the problem the patch fixed. Prompt updates insure you are not a victim.
  5. When using wireless, make sure you are using a secured wireless connection. If that is not practical at the time, and you must use free WI-FI or an unsecured connection, follow these practices for safe computing.
  • Use a browser to access web-based mail. Even if you are on your personal laptop and have Outlook or Windows mail available, do not use it. Standard mail programs send your passwords in plain text, meaning anyone on the unsecured connection with you can capture that information. Web browsers encrypt passwords when you access the web-based email.
  • Use a good antivirus and good firewall protection. And no, Microsoft is not one of them.Many of the security software vendors have special encryption toolbars for wireless connections. Trend Micro is one of them.  It senses when you are using wireless and automatically engages the encryption keyboard for use in your browser. Most hackers and identity thieves don’t want to have to work hard so by encrypting your information, you make it harder for them and they will move on to the next person who’s giving away their information easily.A good firewall will block any suspicious incoming packet – a good thing to do when on unsecured wireless.

Good security practices when using wireless is not rocket science. You just have to be trained in what that means, and anyone can learn to be safe online. I’ve taught thousands to do it over the past 15 years so I speak from experience.

I want to give you two more helpful hints. The biggest security risk you will face is the social engineer. This person can engage you a conversation and get a lot of information from you freely.

For instance, if you show someone your cell phone don’t let him or her see your code to unlock it. Most hackers and identity thieves know that you probably use the same 4-digit code to unlock your phone and your PIN number on your debit card or credit card. It’s just one more piece of personally identifying information you give away without realizing it.

Be careful what you say over your cell phone when others are within listening distance and never volunteer information even in casual conversation. I have heard people call their credit card company on their cell phone in a crowded commuter train and give out all the numbers and security question answers to the entire train car!

A healthy dose of paranoia goes a long way when it comes to security. Get some!

Microsoft Retail Takes on Apple and Apple Store in Oak Brook

Microsoft opens their first Illinois retail store in Oak Brook, Illinois as they get ready to take on Apple and the popular Apple Stores. Microsoft invited us to tour the new store and share our thoughts with you.

The Microsoft Windows 7 logo is the only signage outside the store, just like Apple Stores use the Apple logo. Inside the store we were greeted by advisers in colorful t-shirts and lanyards. The store is laid out like an Apple store with tables covered with electronic gadgets you can try out. Our store tour guide, Evelyn Kong, explained the target audience is a young mom who is not tech savvy. Advisers are on hand to help you select the item best for your needs.

Microsoft Retail Store Oak Brook, Illinois

Microsoft Retail Store Oak Brook, Illinois

Around the perimeter of the store, large flat panel monitors show product demonstrations and interactive games. These screens added energy and life to the store. Computers of all sizes are arranged through out the middle of the room. One of the desktop solutions on display was connected to three monitors for the serious multi-tasker. Also available are laptops, netbooks, smart phones and Kindle readers to try for yourself.

A limited number of the most popular software titles are on the shelf. Over 900 additional titles are available through the in-store kiosk. Select the titles you are interested and pay for your purchase. The software is burned onto a branded CD, the label is printed and the disc is placed into a shrink wrapper case while you wait.

Shoppers can schedule a free 15 minute consultation with an Microsoft expert who can fix or diagnose your technology problem. Store staff can help you set up your new purchase and training sessions are available.

A home theater area showcased Xbox in the family gaming center setting. Microsoft has a solution for those who do not like the look of their Xbox or laptop clashing with their home or office colors. Bring your logo or a picture to the store and Microsoft can create a skin to cover your product. Put your company logo on your laptops for your sales team, brand music players you give customers or cover your Xbox to match your living room decor.

The kids in the store gravitated to Kinect game played on the 100+” touch screen television. Using wireless sensors, the kids rafted down a river using their bodies to control the movement of the raft. Companies and individuals can rent this big screen area at no charge for parties or classes.

This area with a large screen is available for free rentals. Have your company meeting or clients in for a session. Contact the store to make reservations and additional information.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Microsoft offer programs and networking session for business owners. Contact the store for more information.

Microsoft sponsored our visit. The Microsoft Retail store in located in Oakbrook Center. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

100 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523-1838
(630) 573-0700